I’m making a big claim today, but for good reason: It’s time to retire the FIRE movement (and to split up those pursuing more control over their time). Read on to find out why.
My last post was about how the discourse of the FIRE community upholds systemic racism, but today’s is much more personal. This is about how our choices as individuals — as investors, as people choosing where to live, as earners, as tax payers and as charitable givers — impact and likely harm others, especially those who are already impacted by racial inequality. Fortunately, there are plenty of steps we can take to do better, and to ensure that we’re not harming others in our quest to achieve work-optional life.
We’re in an unprecedented moment in history, with people staying home, businesses closed, stock markets going for a wild ride, and most of all, fear for our lives as the coronavirus pandemic worsens. What does all of this mean for the FIRE movement? What does it mean for you? Read on.
If you’re on the journey to a work optional life, or you’re already retired, you have probably spent some time pondering what you truly value most, and what doesn’t add value to your life. But do you spend accordingly, and — importantly — without guilt? If not, this post is for you, talking all about giving yourself permission to spend on what you value most, whatever it is, and regardless of whether others in the FIRE movement think it’s a worthy expense.
Achieving a big financial goal like early retirement is made possible by committing to saving aggressively. But when I look back at our years when we were so focused on saving, the things I regret aren’t the times when we didn’t save enough, they’re times when we didn’t spend on once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Today I’m sharing one such instances, and the lesson I learned from it that it’s a mistake to let life pass you by just because you’re saving for a big goal.
What is “work” anyway? It’s a question that plenty of folks will expend a great deal of oxygen on, and which we won’t answer here today. But we will talk about why it’s problematic when people decide to impose a particular definition of work on others, and what that tells us about our collective messed up relationship with work.
This week’s post is the third and final part in the wrap-up of our first full year of early retirement. Today we’re talking about everything we’re consciously changing in year 2, based on what we’ve learned about early retirement and learned about ourselves.
Traveling when very few others travel has loads of benefits, most notably lower prices, sometimes dramatically so. But it’s not without its downsides, as we experienced on our recent trip to France. So let’s talk about those downsides.
We’re supposed to save 2 times our salary by age 35, or is it 25 times our expenses to retire early? We’re supposed to ignore Social Security, but also claim it at 62 to hedge against market risk. We should try to get out of debt as quickly as possible, but also paying off a mortgage early is missing out on potential market gains. There is so much “truth” out there, so many “right” answers, and many of them conflict. How to make sense of them and decide which are actually true? Start by tossing out the whole notion that financial truth exists in the first place.
It’s a day I’ve been waiting months for: the day when I get to share with you all the details of my NEW BOOK — what it’s about, how it’s different from the other books out there and some behind-the-scenes info on how it all came to be. Plus — of course! — how you can get your very own hands on it.
You don’t have to agree on what’s causing climate change to agree that it’s happening, that it’s getting worse and that it will affect those of us who are retiring early (just like it will affect everyone on the planet). So how do you account for something as massive as climate change in your financial and life planning? What do you do with the doom and gloom news stories, besides throw your hands in the air and declare it hopeless? Let’s break it down into actionable steps.
The FIRE movement has recently faced one of its biggest bits of criticism ever, from one of the country’s most famous financial experts (yes, that’d be Suze Orman), and the responses have been interesting. While plenty of folks have already responded to her critiques point by point, this is a good moment to remind ourselves why it’s so important not to write off any naysayers immediately, and instead to really listen to what they have to say.
Last week we talked about boredom in early retirement and the question to ask yourself to know if you’re ready to retire. Today we’re talking about how you can take action to prepare yourself well and head off that boredom to begin with.
Like it or not, boredom in both early retirement and traditional retirement is a real thing. Between accounts I read online and notes I get from readers, it’s a phenomenon I see occurring pretty regularly. So I’m digging into boredom with a two-part series, first looking at how your answer to one question in particular tells you if you’re ready to pull the plug on work and retire early.
It happened again recently: another high-profile media piece described the financial independence/retire early (FIRE) movement as one made up primarily of 30-something men in tech. This is a story some people love to tell, but it’s just that: a story. Let’s examine the myth, talk about why it’s harmful and kill it once and for all.
Today we’re digging into the archives to pull out everything I think anyone pursuing early retirement should know, pulling from some of my favorite posts from the past that have been buried by dozens or even hundreds of posts since publication.
We’re now half a year into early retirement, so it’s a great time to step back and assess where we are compared to where we thought we’d be, both what we’ve checked off the to do list for the year, and how we’re adjusting to our new life.
An interesting thing happens with a lot of financial independence bloggers. As your audience grows, you suddenly have this incredibly opportunity not only to reach more readers, but to earn more from the blog. Which is wonderful! Except when it means you’re only telling part of the story. Here’s why this matters, and what we should all keep in mind as we read FI blogs.